Track & Field |
April 4, 2013
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati has announced a retirement celebration for its men’s cross country and track and field head coach, Bill Schnier, who is set to retire at the end of the 2013 outdoor season after 33 years at UC. All alumni and friends of UC are invited to join the Department of Athletics for a grand celebration on Saturday, May 11 to honor Coach Schnier.
“I have greatly enjoyed working with Bill over the past year and a half. He is the epitome of the word coach and while he has had tremendous success in coaching, his legacy extends far beyond cross country and track and field,” said UC Director of Athletics Whit Babcock. “In his honor, the cross country and track and field office will be renamed the Wilfred K. Schnier Cross Country and Track and Field Suite.”
The festivities commence Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. with a social gathering at Buffalo Wild Wings (200 Calhoun Street). Light appetizers and a cash bar will be provided for guests.
Saturday’s activities begin at 1 p.m. when UC’s baseball team plays host to Santa Clara at Marge Schott Stadium. Tickets to the game are included in the cost for the celebration. Guests are also encouraged to take a tour of UC’s athletics facilities and the Armory Field House at 3 p.m. The tour will be led by Bearcats student-athletes and begins in the lobby of the Richard E. Lindner Center (located between Nippert Stadium and Fifth Third Arena).
The Bill Schnier Retirement celebration will take place Saturday, May 11, 2013 in UC’s Great Hall at Tangeman University Center. The reception begins at 6:15 p.m. with dinner and the program scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $100 per person and include complimentary parking in the College Conservatory of Music garage. All proceeds benefit UC’s cross country and track and field programs.
"I truly enjoyed working with Bill for the last ten years,” said UC Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach Susan Seaton. “His integrity, passionate love for our sport and his immense work ethic are the reasons why I chose to come to Cincinnati and work for him. He has been a great mentor and friend to me and my family.
“We will miss his perspective and insights as he leaves us with a strong legacy of hard work and a relentless pursuit of excellence,” Seaton continued. “I wish Bill all the best in his well-deserved retirement and know that he will remain a personal friend and strong supporter of UC’s track and field and cross country programs."
Schnier came to UC in 1980 and has led the Bearcats men's and women's cross country and track and field teams to unprecedented success. UC track and field and cross country teams have won 12 of the school's 15 conference team titles and 160 individual/relay titles since Schnier arrived. There have been 25 student-athletes who have earned qualification for NCAA national championships, 10 of which went on to become All-Americans. The men's cross country indoor and outdoor track and field teams have won the All-Ohio championship eight times under Schnier's tutelage. In addition, two of Schnier’s student-athletes have gone on to win Olympic medals.
Schnier has been named conference coach of the year 15 times and was twice selected as Ohio cross country coach of the year. He was named the Conference USA coach of the decade in both cross country and track and field (1995-2005). An astounding 47 of the programs' 53 school records were set during his time at UC. He coached such notables as NBC Olympic track and field analyst Lewis Johnson and Olympic medalists David Payne and Mary Wineberg. It was also under Schnier's watch that the UC women's track and field and cross country programs were formed.
“The true measurement of his success is the positive impact he has had on thousands of student-athletes, the community and his colleagues,” said Babcock. “There are no words to express my gratitude for his time and dedication to UC, our department and our students. I wish him and Kathy the very best.”
Schnier was inducted into UC's James P. Kelly, Sr. Hall of Fame in October 2012, marking his fourth hall of fame honor. He was previously inducted into the Capital University Hall of Fame and the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Running Hall of Fame in recognition for his volunteer work and involvement with the local running community in addition to his status as a standout coach in the area.
Schnier is a 1966 graduate of Capital University where he played baseball for two years before switching to track and field. He set the Capital record for the outdoor 800 meters (1:54.14) and was a member of the record-setting outdoor 4x800 meters relay team (7:51.04), both of which are still school records to date. He earned master's degrees from Wright State University and Indiana University in 1977 and in 1987 earned a doctorate in human performance from Indiana.
“Bill is humble, patient and kind,” said assistant coach Kris Mack, who will take over the men’s cross country and track and field programs upon Schnier’s retirement. “His love for the sport, his team and the department is exemplified by the tremendous career he has had here at the University of Cincinnati. He believes in people and brings out the best in them. This is no more evident than looking at the record books, the All-American Hallway, the team grade point averages, the number of Jimmy Nippert Award winners, Jean Stephen Award winners and Hellen Norman Smith Award winners over his 33-year tenure here. His teams have represented the 'C', through and through.”
Schnier began his career at Trotwood-Madison High School where he taught history and coached track and field for seven seasons, leading his team to a second-place finish in the Ohio State AAA championship meet in 1975. He then spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana before coming to UC in 1980.
Of the student-athletes that Schnier has coached at UC, 16 have won the prestigious Jimmy Nippert Award, honoring the most outstanding male senior student-athlete. He has also coached three winners of the Helen Norman Smith award, honoring the top female student-athlete, and four winners of the Jean Stephens Award, honoring the UC student-athlete that best exemplifies integrity, commitment to the team, athletic department and equitable treatment of others.
“He has shown me the qualities of true leadership and I look forward to honoring him and his legacy here at UC by continuing all he has taught me,” said Mack. “I know so many have been mentored and influenced by this great man and I look forward to celebrating his legacy with them.”
The invite and weekend itinerary are available here. Reservations for the weekend’s events must be received by May 3 via regonline.com/schnierretirement or by downloading the RSVP card here and returning it to: UCATS Office, Department of Athletics, University of Cincinnati, PO Box 210021, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Guests may book a room on campus at the Marriott Kingsgate by calling 513-487-3800 (mention the UC Track Celebration block).
For more information contact Vicki Rohlfer in the UCATS Office at 513-556-0628 or Vicki.Rohlfer@uc.edu.